Notes collected from one of our Tour Directors while in Florence
If you are staying at one of our suggested hotels near the train station, there are lots of informal trattorie nearby serving typical Tuscan cuisine. However, my favourite place is the Central Market, a large food area located in an old building where the ancient food market used to be. Just steps from your hotel! Turn right as soon as you exit from the lobby and then the first right. You cannot miss the building entrance, as it is a short distance into the San Lorenzo market (a great place to buy leather purses and belts, among many other items) . Look for a set of wide stairs on your left of the market alley, the building resembles a covered food market. The food market is open 'till midnight, but leather shopping is done by about 6ish..
The part I like most about the food market is that one can browse around and choose their favourite foods. Bring it to the table yourself in a very informal, vibrant and communal setting. Go crazy: Ribollita, Florentine steak, black or white truffle, homemade pasta to mozzarella di bufala. YUMMY!!!
It is like heaven for me and I can't get enough of it. So I go for breakfast, lunch and dinner....(for breakfast forget your eggs once and try the greatest cannoli with fresh ricotta and pistachio filling..!)
Once out from the hotel lobby turn right and right again to the first intersection. You will find yourself in the middle of one the most authentic leather market in Florence - The San Lorenzo market. Careful...I say "authentic" , however you have to be able to recognize authentic leather from copies ...
You are in the middle of the action. Everything is at your doorstep! The Duomo and Uffizi are at 10 minutes walking, Train station 2 minute. The Arno river and Ponte Vecchio 15 minutes! If you enjoy art and architecture, I highly recommend a visit inside the Duomo by Brunelleschi, a visit to the Medici Chapel, the Laurentian Library and the church of San Lorenzo (all located together at the end of the San Lorenzo Market). I won't spoil it for you, but you will get a Medici/ Michelangelo/ Brunelleschi blast!! Another favorite is the church of Santa Croce, if you have time..Many of Florence's greats are buried here, including Michelangelo, Niccolo' Machiavelli, Galileo Galilei, many monuments and works of art. Don't miss the Medici chapel and the Pazzi Chapel by Brunelleschi.
Traffic and People
This is Florence. Never lacking of any of the two! Just watch your "rear mirrors" when you walk....